by Bee Jay Glosson
Lets flash back to 2 weeks ago when the DC Defenders were undefeated coming off of the league’s first shutout. DC was in the 1 or 2 slot of everyone’s power rankings, riding high and feeling good, looking at the first road game against a winless wildcats team in L.A.. Undefeated vs winless means great things right? No, not at all. The wildcats showed up and smacked the Defenders right in the mouth and then kicked them in the ribs while they were down.
In a game that Cardale Jones throws 4 INTs and a punt gets fumbled; we saw an offense, that in weeks 1 and 2 were good enough to keep any team in a game, completely crumble and any hope of winning the game flew right out the door. L.A. would go on to blow the doors off of the Defenders in a 39-9 rout.
Its ok, just get up and dust yourself off because the winless Tampa Bay Vipers are up next and there is no way that the Defenders could lose to a winless team 2 weeks in a row, right? Well, they would indeed give a winless team their first win for a second straight week. Where the Wildcats lived off of the INT the week before, the Vipers would live off of completely shutting down the Defenders offense on every level.
With only 107 total yards in the entire game, the Defenders found a way to look even worse than they did the week before. With only 30% efficiency on 3rd down, and a complete lack of offensive ability, the Defenders who completed the first shutout in league history just 2 weeks earlier would indeed be the victim of another as they would fall to the Vipers 25-0.
Cardale Jones could be heard completely throwing his wide receiver under the bus saying “that 1 needed to be benched because he didn’t show up to play today.” In a clip that was reminiscent of Matt Mcgloin’s tirade where he stated that it was the game plans fault they were losing instead of shouldering the blame himself, Cardale pushed all the blame off on everyone else instead.
For a Defenders team that looked so great in weeks 1 and 2, weeks 3 and 4 were clearly a different tale. However, there is no time to waste on preparations though as the high flying Battlehawks come into D.C. for week 5 as they are riding a 2 game winning streak.
If the Defenders are to have any chance in this game they need to find a way to play like they did in the first couple weeks of the season. They need the defense to make stops and the offense to not give the ball over on the short field.
Not as easy as it sounds in a league where there are no off weeks and every team is a threat. Even the winless ones like the Defenders found out the hard way. Fans shouldn’t give up on the team though as there is still 6 more weeks of football and anything can happen. The Defenders are still the number 2 seed in the east and with the toughest stretch coming up they really need to get back to their roots of defense first.
I believe Pep can find a way to get this team going, but if Jones continues to not get the offense moving then I expect to see a QB change in the near future. Jones has 6 INTs on the year and that is only 1 behind the league leader Landry Jones. Shields up Defenders fans, stay loud and proud because your team needs you this week to try and stop this skid and start a winning streak again.